Winter has finally arrived!
It has been a relatively mild winter in MN. The tempatures have been mild and we even hit a high temp record in December of 52 degrees! The 2010 Winter was a record breaker for snow when it was all over, 86.6″ of snow came crashing down on the metro. This winter there has been very little snow so far… It looks like the freezing temps are finding us this week along with a few flurries. The weather forecasters starting to use words like bitter and frigid. And we hearty Minnesotans might even start wearing mittens and hats! So I decided it was time to make our own snow flakes inside and play with “snow” inside.
So first come the clouds:
One blog I follow is written by Laura at Come Together Kids. She posted a fun recipe to make cloud dough. I did this activiy with one of my self contained classrooms. There were five students and four adults and we all ended up with lots of white on us but hey it was all about snow and clouds! This recipe can be a little messy but it smells wonderful due to the baby oil and is pretty easy to clean up. I used a larger tin foil pan that came with a clear lid (see example below) which I left with the class to keep. The teacher is thinking about using it in their sand table (minus the sand). The picture of the cloud dough is not from our lesson- we were too busy having fun that I forgot to take pictures.
The lesson was fun and we were able to focus on labeling the ingredients, what we might be making (ice cream- one boy hoped). I divided the dough into two tubs and the kids worked on cooperative play. Not always an easy task! I had brought an ice cream scoop, mini ice cube tray, spoons, and the juice cups I talked about on an earlier post. Of course the kids saw something they liked better in their neighbors tub – it was a perfect time to work on asking and sharing. This project cost me one small bag of flour and a cup of baby oil- not bad for all the fun and language practice! But after leaving the class in a “cloud” I decided to do a different project for the next two classrooms.
Then came the snow flakes:
I follow a blog written by Kim Lewis M.Ed., CCC-SLP called Activity Tailor. She has posted this week a fun way to make snowflakes. Since I had a bag full of beads that someone had given me and free pipe cleaners from school this project cost me nothing! I created two visuals using Custom Boards from Smarty Ears. (FYI there is a free version with 6 templates). I ended up using the 5 picture visual. Funny story about this visual- I was taking the picture with my iPad but have you ever tried to take a picture of your own hands holding something? Well after twisting this way and that I finally looked out in the hallway and asked a student to help me. I think he wondered what really happens in my room! I did this lesson in the two autism classrooms and the kids range from close to non-verbal to close to non-stop chatter. They were all able to complete this task. It did help to have the extra hands of the special education teacher and paraprofessionals. The adults know the kids well and know when to prompt, help or wait. It was a fun fun time by all. If you are looking for inexpensive beads check the dollar stores.
By the way we did get colder weather but not much snow. There is just enough to cover the grass right now. It looks a lot different from last year when the snowbanks were over my head along the driveway.
Now are there any apps that might fit this theme? I do believe snow…